Center of the Netherworld in Heart String Marionette
[Video Link] In 2007, We Are the Strange opened at the Sundance Film Festival. It was self-taught, underground animator, M dot Strange's first feature-length 3D animated film. Half of the midnight Sundance audience walked out, but the half that stayed were treated to one of the most original, disturbing 3D animated films ever made (seriously). That film went on to win several awards and provide M dot with opportunities to tour around the world giving lectures and workshops and screening his strange film.
Now, after 5 years of intense work in his computer-stuffed San Jose basement, professional weirdo, M dot Strange, is releasing his second feature-length 3D animated film, Heart String Marionette, on June 15, 2012. The obsessed director has been chronicling every step of production on his popular YouTube channel and his very frank blog. Collaborating with experimental musician ENDIKA lengthened the production process a bit, so while he was waiting he created 8 episodes of his “BADassery” series, wrote several books about his DIY film philosophy and started a new animated sex series, Darksided.
Heart String Marionette is M dot's ode to his favorite Anime and Samurai films. Internet Movie Databas describes it as “A tale about a kid, a samurai mime, and a stripper who all try to defeat a warlord and an evil clown who have successfully turned the countryside into a never ending nightmare filled with horrible monsters.”
Heart String Marionette was created entirely from scratch inside of MAXON's Cinema 4D and features M dot's signature obsessions with power, innocence and twisted love. And, of course, it's presented in a very strange and original style borrowed partially from Samurai films like Sword of Doom and Japanese Noh Theater. The film has an international cast drawn largely from outsider bands. JP Anderson (band Rabbit Junk) is Samhaine, Jimmy Urine (band Mindless Self Indulgence) plays The Body, Peter Mohamed (band Sweet Noise) plays The Devil, and Rakel Musicbox is The Wasp Woman.
Dissatisfied with the festival circuit and unwilling to compromise, M dot decided to release the film himself via its own website and offer interested fans the opportunity to become “affiliates” by allowing them to sell Heart String Marionette on their own website and share the profit. He has documented the entire distribution process on his blog in a nine part series (Selling Digital Downloads of Your Film) along with lots of production tutorials on his filmmaking style and philosophy at his YouTube channel.
Heart String Marionette will premiere officially on June 15th, 2012. You can watch the entire film for free in Standard Definition or shell out $5 for a HD version, plus the very cool soundtrack and additional “making of” features. It's worth every penny, believe me.
Siouxsie barks a command to Samhaine in Heart String Marionette
Ricky Grove is a bookseller, animator and voice actor. He also writes technical reviews for Renderosity.com. You can usually find Ricky reading a book or having fun with his partner, Lisa Morton, and 3 wonderful, crazy cats.